“Are you okay?” Kunle asked concerned
“I’m so uncomfortable”
“How do you feel?”
“Look I can’t begin to explain how I feel, I just know I’m uncomfortable”
Kunle didn’t now what else to say but he also didn’t want to look unconcerned. “When did you start feeling this way?”
“Please stop asking me questions!” Banke snapped at him, sweating and readjusting herself on her seat.
Kunle decided to leave her alone and concentrated on the match he was watching, it was just as well, his favourite club was playing.
“Goal!” he suddenly shouted
“Stop shouting in my ears!” Banke shouted furiously, hissing angrily.
Kunle was reaching the limit of his patience, was this what it meant for one’s wife to be pregnant? Couldn’t he do anything without attracting her wrath? Still he decided to be just a little more patient. A short while later, Banke got up heavily and waddled towards the rooms. Finally! He thought and returned his full attention to the match.
“Oh my God!” he cried to himself “Coming!” he responded
Banke’s clothes were wet when he got to their room. “Did you pee on yourself?” he asked frowning
“My water just broke.”
“Your water?” he asked not comprehending
Banke shook her head disapprovingly. “The baby is coming”
“Oh your water! Oh my God! Oh my God! What do we do now? Should we go to the hospital?” he said frantically
“No, we wait till I go into labour”
“And how would we know that?”
Banke let out an exasperated sigh “Really Kunle I can’t answer your JAMB questions now! Can you just help me get out of these wet clothes and then clean the floor?”
Clean the floor?! But he knew he dare not raise an objection. “O…okay” he said reluctantly.
“We need to talk”
“Effiong I’m busy.”
“That’s always your excuse! You’re too busy for me and the kids but you never seem to be busy enough for your office”
“Our jobs are different. I’m an HR officer, you a marketer. If you don’t show up at work nobody will notice.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You asked for an explanation and I gave it. What’s the issue now?” she said clanging the pots together in frustration.
“I just want to talk about us” Effiong said calmly even though he felt anger boiling within him.
“What’s there to talk about?” Olayinka asked offhandedly, walking towards their bedroom.
“You’ve changed… Sharon, clean up that mess!” he said to their daughter who had been tearing up a handbill on the carpet. They were in their room now and Olayinka was tossing out clothes from her section of the wardrobe.
“You’ve changed, you’re very indifferent towards me and the kids.”
“Look at Sharon’s hair for example, her teacher begged me to loosen it because she was always scratching it and when I inspected her scalp, I saw that she had dandruff. You would never allow that. And look at Max, you were so rash towards him this morning because he wet the bed.”
“So I shouldn’t have said anything when a four year old boy wet his bed ehn?”
“That’s not what I’m saying, you’re usually gentle with him. You’re the one who told me he’s an emotional child. What about us? It’s been over two months since we made love. You barely talk to me, you don’t ask my opinion on things anymore. Let’s not even talk about how much time you spend on your phone when you’re home. I’m getting tired of the state of things between us and I need to know Yinka, what is going on?”
“Nothing. I’ve just been very busy at work”
“I hope this doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that I want another child?”
“Effiong you’re so selfish! Does everything have to be about you? I just told you I’m very busy at work and here you are talking about having another baby! Are you the one who is going to get pregnant and suspend your life for the next one year? I can’t deal with this!” she said walking away from him.
“Then do it Effiong! You want to show me you’re a man. Do whatever you want to do! Go out and sleep with every woman for all I care, nothing stopped you before!”
“Well, I never forgot.” Olayinka said sourly and walked out of the room. This time Effiong let her go.
Helen was frantic; she paced up and down the bedroom praying silently under her breath.
“Can you please just sit down for a minute? She’ll be alright, you said she’s healthy yourself.” Obiora said.
“Yes, but I’m still concerned for her. I wish I was there with them”
“She’ll be fine…”
Helen’s phone rang. It was Kunle. “Hello!” she said answered urgently. “Really? Thank God! How is she? And the baby? What are the doctors saying?” She said all in one breath.
Obiora shook his head amused, wondering what question she expected Kunle to answer.
Olayinka had been typing furiously on her phone again, smiling at certain points and frowning at others. She even hissed. Effiong wondered who she could be talking to, most of her friends were usually asleep at this time. He had been trying very hard to heed to Obiora’s advice but he kept getting a nagging feeling that something was very wrong. Eventually, she set her phone aside and soon enough she was snoring.
Effiong lay still trying to resist the temptation but he couldn’t get the thought out of his head. Finally he got quietly out of the bed and tiptoed towards her side of the bed, picked up her phone and tiptoed again to the bathroom. Her phone was switched off so he turned it on, reminding himself of her password while waiting for the phone to boot and imagining the damning evidence he would see to confirm that she was indeed being unfaithful to him. The phone had finally booted and he typed in her password.
He tried two more times and then realized that she had changed her password.